We know sleep is important for your health, but did you know just how important? Turns out insomnia increases your diabetes risk. Women who have trouble going to sleep, or tend not to stay asleep, are 22 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (after accounting for other risks). Women who get less than six hours of sleep a night are a whopping 47 percent more likely.
The worst offenders, women who had difficulty sleeping plus three other problems (choosing between snoring, sleep apnea, less than six hours a night, and working a night shift) were a mind-boggling 400 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Of course, most people aren't quite as bad as the worst offenders, but getting less than six hours of sleep a night is frighteningly common in our do-it-yesterday society. We are overworked and overextended, and combined with the onslaught of electronics (which have a negative impact on our sleep quality), it generates a lot of sleepless nights.
Whether you're too busy, too worried, or too overstimulated to sleep, though, it's sure to take a toll on your health. While you sleep, your body performs all kinds of routine and preventative maintenance. Hormones are processed to allow your body to better manage fat, so a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Sleep also allows your body down time while it fights off viruses and bacteria, so a lack of sleep can also lead to you getting sick more frequently.
And now it turns out that a lack of sleep also makes your body more insulin resistant.
The good news is, another study has found that a couple of days catching up on sleep -- such as over the weekend -- returns your body's insulin sensitivity to normal. However, as with other sleep concerns, you shouldn't depend too much on your weekends. Getting more sleep all week long is much healthier!